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Trail RCMP save senior from losing $10,000 in phone scam

Weekly briefs provided to media by Greater Trail Sgt. Mike Wicentowich
Police also describe a car crash in the parking lot that sent a woman to the hospital for assessment. Photo: Black Press file

This week’s media report from the Trail detachment gives locals a heads up about ongoing telephone scams, one of which had a Trail senior coming very close to losing $10,000. Police also describe a harrowing car crash in the parking lot of a Trail grocery store that sent a woman to the hospital for assessment.

Fraud averted

• Feb. 22, Trail RCMP received a complaint from an 80-year-old Trail man who reported he was the victim of a telephone fraud. Police say the victim received a phone call from a scammer posing as a police officer who demanded $10,000 in order for the man’s grandson to be bailed out of jail.

As per instructions from the fraudster, the victim mailed the money via Purolator to an address in Laval, Quebec. This happened prior to a family member discovering that the victim was being defrauded.

After the report was taken, Trail RCMP contacted a Purolator Solutions Specialist about the unusual situation.

“The solutions specialist then went above and beyond to ensure the $10,000 package was stopped from being delivered and returned to the Trail man,” reports Sgt. Mike Wicentowich. “The Trail man was very happy to receive his money back. The victim was referred to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre to help him prevent from falling prey again to this kind of scam.”

Trail police warn the public that the RCMP does not collect money over the phone. Hang up and notify your local detachment if someone claims that he/she is a police officer and is asking for money.

Attempted fraud

• Feb. 26, Trail RCMP received a call from a 77-year-old Beaver Falls woman who reported an attempted fraud. The victim received a phone call from a man who claimed that he was an employee of an online retailer. The man stated that the victim’s account had accidentally been charged $799. The man wanted to access her personal online bank account to correct the error; however, he did not gain access.

The victim contacted her bank who confirmed that her account was not compromised.

Trail RCMP warn the public not to provide any personal information over the telephone or allow anyone to access a personal bank account. It is critical to ensure the caller’s legitimacy by contacting him/her back through verified means.

Parking lot crash

• Feb. 28, Const. Kurtis Olineck of the Trail detachment responded to a 3 p.m. motor vehicle incident involving a woman, 82, in the parking lot of a Trail grocery store. The Trail senior backed her car into another parked vehicle then accelerated across the parking lot and over a curb onto Second Avenue. Both vehicles sustained minor damage.

The woman was transported by ambulance to the Trail hospital as a precaution. Olineck went the extra distance of assistance by arranging for a neighbour to drive the woman’s vehicle home and personally ensuring her groceries were dropped off inside her apartment.

The driver admitted that she had just begun driving again and did not typically drive in winter. The investigation continues.

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Sheri Regnier

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